The Beastie Boys have sent a legal threat to toymaker GoldieBlox over the company's extremely clever ad, which parodies the Beasties' early track "Girls". The ad rewrites the lyrics (which are pretty terrible in the original) to insist that girls should take control over their world, reject passivity and subservience, and make things (the video accompanies this with the creation of a Rube Goldberg device that ultimately switches off a TV showing girly toy ads).
The irony here is pretty thick: the Beasties are still being sued over their use of samples on their early albums, including the classic Paul's Boutique. Every pirate wants to be an admiral, of course, but for the Beasties to decry remix culture even as they go to court to defend their (perfectly legitimate) right to make new things out of other creators' old rope is pretty sad.
GoldieBlox is seeking a declaratory judgment that their video is fair use.
According to a lawsuit filed on Thursday by Goldieblox, "the Beastie Boys have now threatened GoldieBlox with copyright infringement. Lawyers for the Beastie Boys claim that the GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video is a copyright infringement, is not a fair use and that GoldieBlox's unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a 'big problem' that has a 'very significant impact.' "
Goldieblox is now going to a California federal court to get declaratory relief that the video is not a copyright infringement. Read the complaint.
Beastie Boys, 'Girls' Viral Video in Copyright Infringement Fight [Eriq Gardner/Hollywood Reporter]